Mac Recovery Mode Not Working: How To Fix It

Mac Recovery mode is an essential tool that allows you to troubleshoot and fix problems with your Mac. However, sometimes things can go wrong and you may find that Mac Recovery mode is not working. This can be frustrating, but don’t worry, there are solutions available.

What is Mac Recovery Mode?

Mac Recovery mode is a built-in utility that allows you to repair or reinstall macOS on your Mac. It can be accessed by holding down the Command + R keys during startup. Once in Recovery mode, you have access to a range of tools, including Disk Utility, Terminal, and Safari.

Why is Mac Recovery Mode Not Working?

There are several reasons why Mac Recovery mode may not be working. It could be due to a corrupt recovery partition, a damaged startup disk, or an outdated version of macOS. Additionally, if you have made any modifications to the recovery partition or installed third-party software, this could also cause issues.

How to Fix Mac Recovery Mode Not Working

Here are some steps you can take to fix Mac Recovery mode not working:

1. Check Your Internet Connection

In some cases, Mac Recovery mode may not work because your Mac cannot connect to the internet. Check your internet connection and make sure it is stable. If you are using Wi-Fi, try connecting to a different network or using a wired connection.

2. Try a Different Startup Key Combination

If the Command + R key combination is not working, try using other key combinations. For example, you could try Command + Option + R to upgrade to the latest version of macOS, or Command + Shift + Option + R to reinstall the version of macOS that came with your Mac.

3. Repair Your Startup Disk

If your Mac’s startup disk is damaged, this could prevent Mac Recovery mode from working. To repair your startup disk, restart your Mac and hold down the Command + R keys to enter Recovery mode. From there, select Disk Utility and choose your startup disk. Click on First Aid and follow the on-screen instructions to repair any issues.

4. Reinstall macOS

If none of the above solutions work, you may need to reinstall macOS. To do this, enter Recovery mode and select Reinstall macOS. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Note that this will erase all data on your Mac, so make sure you have a backup first.

FAQs: Mac Recovery Mode Not Working

Q: Can I access Mac Recovery mode without an internet connection?

A: Yes, you can access some features of Mac Recovery mode without an internet connection, such as Disk Utility and Terminal. However, if you need to reinstall macOS, you will need an internet connection.

Q: What should I do if I see a prohibitory sign when booting up my Mac?

A: This could indicate a problem with your Mac’s startup disk. Try repairing your startup disk in Recovery mode or reinstalling macOS.

Q: Can I use a third-party tool to fix Mac Recovery mode?

A: While there are third-party tools available that claim to fix Mac Recovery mode, we recommend using Apple’s built-in tools to avoid any potential risks.


Mac Recovery mode not working can be frustrating, but there are several solutions available. Try checking your internet connection, using a different startup key combination, repairing your startup disk, or reinstalling macOS. If all else fails, contact Apple Support for further assistance.